One of the most important relationships that you need to constantly foster and develop is not the one with your boyfriend or girlfriend, but with yourself. No, you dirty-minded reader; not like that.
Building a healthy self-relationship goes beyond finding your perfect partner, because when it really comes down to it, the only way to possibly add anyone else into your life is to first settle your own issues. Confidence, self-assurance– whichever way you choose to phrase it– you just have to keep yourself in check.
While you may be pretty secure of yourself, even the most minor of insecurities can manifest once you add anyone else to the equation, so it’s always a good idea to be in constant scrutiny of your well being. With the stress of college, it’s hard NOT to feel out of control at times, in some way or form.
Yes, we all vie to improve our self-esteem, often hanging out with outgoing people or pushing ourselves out of our own comfort zones to test our confidence. But having confidence doesn’t mean that you need to be the type of person that desperately wants to be the center of attention. In fact, it takes a confident personality to be a cautious observer, both being able to speak your mind and listen to others.
Be it via the media or simply seeing other people trotting around campus in different shapes and sizes, self-perception often relies on our perceptions of others. We automatically assume that because we look at someone and think a certain way, that others will do the same to us. Well, newsflash: being judgmental and critical of others only hints at an underlying issue in your own self-esteem. Frankly, it’s immature to judge others by outward appearance, and only adds to the list of flaws that you will, in turn, see in yourself. Instead of being critical, find an intermediary place:
DO make it a goal to go to the gym twice a week, and start off slowly so you don’t burn out.
DON’T put pictures up around your room to set up a “goal” for what you want to look like in a month after hitting the gym.
DO eat healthily and allow yourself to indulge every once and while. As long as it’s in moderation, chocolate, pizza and beer—hopefully separately—can help you get through a late night study session.
DON’T starve yourself. Not only do you compromise your health but also, most likely, your focus, as you will only be thinking about what you can eat next.
DO talk to your friends about the issues you may be having. Getting an outsider’s perspective can really help you put things back into proportion and help ease your mind.
Talking with a friend, a therapist, a doctor or someone on a helpline is no longer taboo. Accepting your need for help will put you closer to your goals and help you settle certain recurring issues that may be coming up.
The ability to help a friend through his or her issues is a true mark of maturity. Understanding that everyone goes through phases of insecurity and uncertainty can not only help those struggling, but it also gives you insight on the kinds of things that go through the minds of our peers, and in a way, that can help you temper your own insecurities and bring you a rewarding satisfaction from it all.
NATIONAL CRISIS HOTLINES: